Thursday, February 8

Review: Aperion Cyberstorm [Nintendo Switch eShop]


Let’s face it, among the genres on the Switch that are the most and best represented, the shooter genre is at or near the top of the list. Even specifying twin-stick shooters there are some excellent and varied games for you to choose from. Adding to this checklist is Aperion Cyberstorm, a pretty straight-forward shooter where you’ll face scores of enemies in a ship of your choosing. How does it stack up?


Most likely you’ll begin your journey in the game in the Campaign mode, where over the course of your travels through hosts of levels and enemies you’ll slowly find new ships and power-ups that you can work with. There’s a story going along with this, though honestly once it started to lose me early on I never paid it much attention from that point on. Essentially in this mode you’ll make your way through a variety of pretty claustrophobic levels to face waves of enemy ships that will progressively get more challenging. As you go you’ll run into new ships, collect crystals that serve as currency, unlock various upgrades you can choose for your ship, and then select which ones you want to invest in to suit your style of play. While this mode may be fair for less experienced shooter fans veterans are likely to find it quite bland.

Where things get a bit more fun and interesting are in the multiplayer versus modes and the more traditional Onslaught mode. If you’ve got some friends to play with (up to 4, yes, it supports 5-players) the multiple mode variants in Versus can likely add to longevity, with 9 options to choose from you can probably lock in on a few that work for you. If you’re more of a classic arcade fan the Onslaught mode is where you’ll likely want to spend your time, loading up one of 16 maps and then having your pick of any of the game’s ships and power-ups to play with. Most of these stages need to be unlocked by showing your skills, you earn a star for every 5 levels you complete, and some stages even add environmental hazards to the mix to up the challenge. This mode provides a nice skill test that scales up pretty quickly with a lot of enemies and power-ups to cycle through, helping to scratch the itch veterans may get from the slower pace of the Campaign.


The primary flaw with Cyberstorm is that for the most part everything feels a bit generic. There’s a fair variety of enemy types you’ll need to keep track of, including shielding drones, ships that will repair others, and multi-stage variations, but I wouldn’t say any of it was a surprise or a revolution. The ship variations are nice, and the options for power-ups provide room for variety, but again put up against many of the shooters already available on the console it doesn’t do much to help it stand out from the pack. One thing worth noting, depending on how you prefer to play, is that due to the scaling and pretty dark look of the game handheld mode can be problematic for pulling out details when there’s even moderate ambient light. It can be done but there can be struggles seeing enemy fire and crystals that you want to collect in particular.

Overall there’s nothing outright wrong with Aperion Cyberstorm but it also isn’t terribly inspiring, despite the obvious effort put into the game’s multiple modes. It is a serviceable shooter and can provide a fair test of your ability, but for veterans looking to be challenged there are better options available on the console. If you have friends you’d like to play with and against the game’s value rises a bit, though again depending on your collective tastes and experience it may not provide much longevity. However, if you’re a bit more of a novice when it comes to twin-stick shooters and are looking for an opportunity to progressively learn the ropes of the genre it may be a great fit.



Score: 6.5

Pros:
  • The Campaign mode is a very friendly introduction to the twin-stick shooter genre, slowly ramping up in complexity and options
  • If you’re looking to play with friends all modes can be played cooperatively and the added 9 variants in Versus mode provide many options
  • Veterans will find a fair challenge by hitting Onslaught mode, especially with some of the unlocked stages

Cons:
  • The Switch is deep with excellent challenging twin-stick shooters that leave Cyberstorm behind for genre veterans
  • Handheld mode can have scaling and general visibility issues due to the dark art and color scheme
  • Despite its customization options and attempts at variety it mostly feels generic


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